Getting locked out of your RV: Prevention and action
Monday, March 02, 2020
Getting locked out of the RV has happened to the best of us. In this article, I will let you know the ways to prevent it from happening and the actions to take if it does happen.
Some RV models are known for automatically locking when the door is closed. It is a good idea to ask the dealership or previous owner if your model is one of them and what can be done to avoid being locked out.
Before we talk about modern ways to prevent getting locked out, let us begin with some old-school solutions. As a young teen, I was constantly getting locked out of my car or house, and my father-in-law, older and wiser, had a solution.
I went out to get in my car one night and, sure enough, I lost my key. But this night there was no frustration, because my father-in-law had taken a spare key and duct taped it to the underside of my wheel well. Due to his ingenious idea I was able to get to work on time.
This old-school method can still be applied to today, as an adult. One can take a spare key and duct tape it in a secret location on the outside of their RV. Now, if you have a tow vehicle, the easy solution is to carry a spare somewhere inside the tow vehicle. However, the spare RV key could get locked inside that tow vehicle, so I suggest taping or hiding it outside.
Prevention means hiding the key where a criminal would not find it but placing it somewhere secure you can access it. Action means getting that spare key and never suffering the embarrassment of a lockout again.
Now, let’s talk about pop-up campers. For years it has baffled me as to why a pop-up camper would even have a lock on it. All a burglar has to do is pull back the Velcro and slide their hand in and unlock the door. The only purpose a lock serves on a pop up is for insurance reasons. Prevention: none needed. Action: pull back the Velcro and let yourself in.
I think the first thing a person thinks of when they get locked out of their RV is to call a locksmith. Locksmiths can be expensive, so I suggest purchasing roadside assistance. Something to think about when purchasing roadside assistance is making sure you have lockout coverage.
I have Nationwide and, fortunately, it does not matter where I am or whose vehicle I am in — my roadside assistance follows me, not my vehicles. One could try and pick the lock but, in the end, this usually results in damage to your RV, so it is not a suggested method. Another go-to method is squeezing in an emergency exit or a small window. While this may be an option it is a slim one at best.
The best thing you can do if you get locked out is not panic. Look around, trace your steps, and search for your lost keys. Next, call or visit the campground office. There is a good chance your keys were found and turned in.
Another option is to look around, because some campers share the same keys and you might get lucky and a fellow RVer might have keys that can unlock your RV. As scary as that sounds, it is possible!
Yet another possibility is to purchase a new lock system and replace it yourself. That is why I saved the best solution for last: buying and installing a keyless code lock.
Keyless code locks are a must-have for all RVers. If there is an emergency, a neighbor or friend can gain access immediately. Say you left the oven on or the power went out at the campground. You ran to the store but left your dog in the RV — you could call someone at camp, and they could gain entry into your RV immediately.
As with most things in “RV life,” prevention is the key but even the best laid out plans can go south. For example, losing your key is not always the cause for being locked out. Sometimes, especially in older campers, locks become jammed.
So, it is a good idea to have a plan of action when prevention fails. Check out these videos that offer some prevention measures and solutions: Locked out of the Casita, RV lock installation, or combination lockbox.
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